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Odds narrow on BP chairman

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Odds narrow on BP chairman

By Emiliya Mychasuk and Emiko Terazono

Published: August 21 2008 03:00 | Last updated: August 21 2008 03:00

Rio Tinto chairman Paul Skinner has stretched into the lead as a rumoured candidate for the BP chairman’s job, as the head hunters narrow their lists before the 2009 handover by Peter Sutherland .

Mr Skinner will know by then whether the bid by BHP Billiton for rival Rio is likely to succeed and leave him free for the BP job.

It would be a nice irony, as the other rumoured main contender is former BHP boss Chip Goodyear .

But his successor at BHP, Marius Kloppers , has placed a “short” on the prospects of Mr Goodyear turning up as BP chairman (see www.ft.com/vftt).

Rolls-Royce’s long-serving chief executive Sir John Rose was also on bookie lists but said recently that he hadn’t been approached. Mr Skinner, of course, knows the tricky oil business inside out after a 40-year career at Shell.

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